SLU adds 12 for football on National Signing Day

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Ron Roberts

HAMMOND, La. – A total of 12 student-athletes chose to continue their academic and athletic endeavors as members of the Southeastern Louisiana football program on National Signing Day, SLU head coach Ron Roberts announced on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s additions combined with the six members of the midyear signing class gives Southeastern a total of 18 additions.

The class of 18 includes a mix of players on both sides of the ball, as Roberts and his staff addressed each position. Thus far, Southeastern’s 2017 class includes five offensive lineman, three defensive lineman, three defensive backs, two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, one running back, one tight end and one linebacker.

“We were able to address our areas of need with this class,” Roberts said. “We were able to sign five quality offensive lineman, which was huge. We’ll be replacing two senior tackles this year and next year we’re losing several more senior starters, so we did a nice job in that area bringing in a couple of student-athletes that can have an immediate impact and several that will be building blocks for the future.”

Roberts and his staff were able to address the quarterback position, as the Lions will look to replace senior signal callers Justin Alo and D’Shaie Landor.

“We’ve brought in two quarterbacks who we think can both compete for playing time right away,” Roberts said. “We expect that to be a wide open competition during both spring practice and fall camp.”

Roberts was pleased with the variety of players he was able to bring in to bolster his roster.

“We signed someone at every offensive and defensive position,” Roberts said. “We feel real comfortable with all the areas we covered. We were able to add players who are not just great athletes, but high-character and dependable young men who we can count on to do the right things for our program.”

Southeastern, which swept all three in-state Southland Conference opponents for the fourth time in five years in 2016, continued to emphasize bringing in quality in-state recruits.

“We were very pleased with the quality of student-athletes we were able to bring in from within the state,” Roberts said. “We think all of our in-state signees will be starters for us in the future. We want to continue to keep more of our Louisiana players at home.”

A total of eight Louisiana products – Oak Forest Academy tight end Dalton Brabham, North Desoto High running back Delmonte Hall, Destrehan High offensive lineman Elijah Hayes, Hahnville High offensive lineman Drew Jones, St. Augustine High offensive lineman Rendon Miles-Character, Walker High linebacker Kyle Nevels, East St. John High wide receiver CJ Turner and Sulphur High quarterback Byron Walker – are among the newest group of Lions.

Southeastern also hit the California junior college ranks for a trio of immediate impact performers in wide receiver Nih-jer Jackson (Merced College), defensive lineman Imani Mitchell (East LA College) and defensive back Jah’Mar Sexton (Sierra College). The newest Lions from the state of Mississippi include junior college offensive lineman Lorenz Jones (Hinds CC) and Kyle Strickland (Copiah-Lincoln CC), as well as 2017 true freshman Noah Vance (Harrison Central HS).

Southeastern mined the Atlanta area for a pair of high school secondary products in defensive backs Marquis Johnson (KIPP Atlanta Collegiate HS) and Ferlando Jordan (Mays HS). Two midyear additions who are currently enrolled at Southeastern and will participate in spring practice – quarterback Chandler Eiland (Kilgore College/Canton, Texas) and defensive lineman Jon Miller (Hudson Valley CC/Pelham, N.Y.) – were the lone representatives in the SLU class from their respective states.

Southeastern will open spring practice on March 7 with the Annual Spring Game set for April 1 at 2 p.m. The Lions officially open the 2017 season at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 2.

Southeastern Louisiana Football – 2017 Additions
Dalton Brabham – TE – 6-1 – 230 – Amite, La. – Oak Forest Academy
Chandler Eiland – QB – 6-1 – 195 – Canton, Texas – Kilgore College/Canton HS*
Delmonte Hall – RB – 5-11 – 201 – Stonewall, La. – North DeSoto HS
Elijah Hayes – OL – 6-2 – 315 – Destrehan, La. – Destrehan HS
Nih-Jer Jackson – WR – 6-3 – 175 – Stockton, Calif. – Merced College/McNair HS*
Marquis Johnson – DB – 6-1 – 180 – Atlanta, Ga. – KIPP Atlanta Collegiate HS
Drew Jones – OL – 6-1 – 286 – Des Allemands, La. – Hahnville HS
Lorenz Jones – OL – 6-5 – 280 – Jackson, Miss. – Hinds CC/Provine HS*
Ferlando Jordan – DB – 6-0 – 170 – Atlanta, Ga. – Mays HS
Rendon Miles-Character – OL – 6-3 – 290 – New Orleans, La. – St. Augustine HS
Jon Miller – DL – 6-1 – 272 – Pelham, N.Y. – Hudson Valley CC/Pelham Memorial HS*
Imani Mitchell – DL – 6-2 – 275 – Compton, Calif. – East LA College/Long Beach Poly HS*
Kyle Nevels – LB – 6-3 –235 – Walker, La. – ULM/Walker HS*
Jah’mar Sexton – DB – 6-0 – 160 – Elk Grove, Calif. – Sierra College/Monterey Trail HS
Kyle Strickland – OL – 6-5 – 285 – Brandon, Miss. – Copiah-Lincoln CC/Brandon HS
CJ Turner – WR – 6-2 – 170 – LaPlace, La. – East St. John HS
Noah Vance – DL – 6-2 – 275 – Gulfport, Miss. – Harrison Central HS
Byron Walker – QB – 5-10 – 185 – Sulphur, La. – Sulphur HS

* – Added during the midyear signing period in December

Position Breakdown:
OL – 5 (Elijah Hayes, Drew Jones, Lorenz Jones, Rendon Miles-Character, Kyle Strickland)
DB – 3 (Marquis Johnson, Ferlando Jordan, Jah’mar Sexton)
DL – 3 (Jon Miller, Imani Mitchell, Noah Vance)
WR – 2 (Nih-jer Jackson, CJ Turner)
QB – 2 (Chandler Eiland, Byron Walker)
RB – 1 (Delmonte Hall)
LB – 1 (Kyle Nevels)
TE – 1 (Dalton Brabham)

Where They’re From:
Louisiana (8): Dalton Brabham (Amite); Delmonte Hall (Stonewall); Elijah Hayes (Destrehan); Drew Jones (Des Allemands); Rendon Miles-Character (New Orleans); Kyle Nevels (Walker); CJ Turner (LaPlace); Byron Walker (Sulphur)
California (3): Nih-jer Jackson (Stockton); Imani Mitchell (Compton); Jah’mar Sexton (Elk Grove)
Mississippi (3): Lorenz Jones (Jackson); Kyle Strickland (Brandon); Noah Vance (Gulfport)
Georgia (2): Marquis Johnson (Atlanta); Ferlando Jordan (Atlanta)
New York (1): Jon Miller (Pelham)
Texas (1): Chandler Eiland (Canton)

Southeastern Louisiana Football – 2017 Additions – Capsules
Dalton Brabham – TE – 6-1 – 230 – Amite, La. – Oak Forest Academy
All-District performer at Oak Forest Academy … Helped Yellow Jackets to state championship game appearances in each of the past two seasons … Son of OFA head football coach Jason Brabham … Also plays on the school’s baseball, basketball and track teams.

Chandler Eiland – QB – 6-1 – 195 – Canton, Texas – Kilgore College/Canton HS
Signed with SLU in December during the midyear signing period … Will have three years of eligibility remaining … Spent freshman season at Kilgore College … Threw for 2,341 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2016 … Also rushed for 16 touchdowns … Signed with ULM out of Canton High School … Redshirted with the Warhawks in 2015 … Multi-time All-District performer in both football and baseball during his time at CHS … Currently enrolled at Southeastern and will participate in spring practice.

Delmonte Hall – RB – 5-11 – 201 – Stonewall, La. – North DeSoto HS
Rushed for over 1,800 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior at North DeSoto High School … Scored eight touchdowns in a win over Huntington High School … Accumulated over 8,000 total yards and 88 touchdowns during his high school career … Earned All-District, All-Parish and All-Area Offensive MVP honors during his career … Rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in inaugural I-20 Bowl.

Elijah Hayes – OL – 6-2 – 315 – Destrehan, La. – Destrehan HS
First team All-District 6-5 performer as a senior at Destrehan High School … Also named first team All-Metro in 2016 … Second team all-district honoree following his junior season for the Wildcats … Also was a member of the DHS track and field team.

Nih-Jer Jackson – WR – 6-3 – 175 – Stockton, Calif. – Merced College/McNair HS
Signed with Southeastern during the midyear signing period in December … Caught 38 passes for 835 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore at Merced College … Prepped at McNair High School … Standout on the football and track teams at MHS … Currently enrolled at Southeastern and will participate in spring practice.

Marquis Johnson – DB – 6-1 – 180 – Atlanta, Ga. – KIPP Atlanta Collegiate HS
Standout cornerback at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School … Selected to the Georgia Southwest All-Star Bowl … Helped KAC to first winning season and playoff appearance in school history as a senior.

Drew Jones – OL – 6-1 – 286 – Des Allemands, La. – Hahnville HS
Honorable mention Class 5A All-State selection as a senior at Hahnville High School … First team All-District 7-5A in each of his final two seasons … All-Metro Large Schools selection.

Lorenz Jones – OL – 6-5 – 280 – Jackson, Miss. – Hinds CC/Provine HS
Signed with Southeastern during midyear signing period in December … Two-year starter at tackle at Hinds Community College.

Ferlando Jordan – DB – 6-0 – 170 – Atlanta, Ga. – Mays HS
Helped Mays High School to a region championship as a senior … Played both ways for the Raiders … Was a defensive back and wide receiver at MHS.

Rendon Miles-Character – OL – 6-3 – 290 – New Orleans, La. – St. Augustine HS
All-District performer at St. Augustine High School … Played both offensive and defensive line for the Purple Knights.

Jon Miller – DL – 6-1 – 272 – Pelham, N.Y. – Hudson Valley CC/Pelham Memorial HS
Signed with Southeastern during midyear signing period in December … Posted 109 tackles, 14.5 sacks and 29.0 tackles for loss in his two seasons at Hudson Valley Community College … Earned honorable mention All-American honors as a sophomore … All-Section performer at Pelham Memorial High School … Currently enrolled at SLU and will participate in spring practice.

Imani Mitchell – DL – 6-2 – 275 – Compton, Calif. – East LA College/Long Beach Poly HS
Signed with Southeastern during midyear signing period in December … Finished with 38 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss at East Los Angeles College … Second team All-Metro selection … First team All-CIF, All-League and All-City performer at Long Beach Poly High School … Currently enrolled at SLU and will participate in spring practice.

Kyle Nevels – LB – 6-3 – 235 – Walker, La. – ULM/Walker HS
Transferred to Southeastern prior to the spring 2017 semester … Will move to linebacker after playing tight end at ULM … Played in all 12 games for the Warhawks and caught a 22-yard touchdown versus Texas State … Earned All-State, All-District, All-Metro and All-Parish honors at both punter and linebacker as a senior at Walker High School … All-Parish and All-District tight end as a junior … Finished with 136 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior at WHS … Set a school record with 71 catches for 814 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior … Currently enrolled at SLU and will participate in spring practice.

Jah’Mar Sexton – DB – 6-0 – 190 – Elk Grove, Calif. – Sierra College/Monterey Trail HS
Led Sierra College with 137 tackles as a sophomore … Also recorded two sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 16 pass breakups in 2016 … Intercepted three passes as a freshman … Will be reunited in the Lion secondary with junior college teammate Jeff Williams II … Played both wide receiver and defensive back at Monterey Trail High School … Earned All-League honors at MTHS.

Kyle Strickland – OL – 6-5 – 285 – Brandon, Miss. – Copiah-Lincoln CC/Brandon HS
Spent two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln Community College … Signed as a defensive end out of Brandon High School, but played tackle for the Wolfpack … Posted 82 tackles and seven sacks as a senior at BHS.

CJ Turner – WR – 6-2 – 170 – LaPlace, La. – East St. John HS
Earned honorable mention Class 5A All-State honors as a senior at East St. John High School … Named first team All-District 7-5A in 2016.

Noah Vance – DL – 6-2 – 275 – Gulfport, Miss. – Harrison Central HS
Prepped at Harrison Central High School … Participated in the 68th Annual Bernard Blackwell North/South All-Star Game following his senior season … Also played on the HCHS baseball team.

Byron Walker – QB – 5-10 – 185 – Sulphur, La. – Sulphur HS
Dual-threat quarterback earned Class 5A honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior at Sulphur High School … Participated in the inaugural I-10 bowl pitting top high school players from the Lake Charles area versus the top prospects in Lafayette … Earned second team All-District 3-5A as a senior … Threw for 2,886 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 1,252 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two seasons at SHS.

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Kemmler Chapple

Kemmler Chapple

Sports Information Director, Southeastern Louisiana University Athletics

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